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Artistic view of a Male Pteronarcys californica (Pteronarcyidae) (Giant Salmonfly) Stonefly Adult from the Gallatin River in Montana
Salmonflies
Pteronarcys californica

The giant Salmonflies of the Western mountains are legendary for their proclivity to elicit consistent dry-fly action and ferocious strikes.

Dorsal view of a Pycnopsyche guttifera (Limnephilidae) (Great Autumn Brown Sedge) Caddisfly Larva from the Yakima River in Washington
This specimen appears to be of the same species as this one collected in the same spot two months earlier. The identification of both is tentative. This one suffered some physical damage before being photographed, too, so the colors aren't totally natural. I was mostly photographing it to test out some new camera setting idea, which worked really well for a couple of closeups.
27" brown trout, my largest ever. It was the sub-dominant fish in its pool. After this, I hooked the bigger one, but I couldn't land it.
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This topic is about the Insect Family Corydalidae

Hellgrammites are the vicious larvae of the Dobsonflies, some of the only trout stream insects which pose a biting threat to the angler. The pincers of the adult are even more frightening that the larva's, and they're aggressive enough to use them once in a while.

This family's life cycle does not create good dry fly opportunities, but the larvae may be eaten by trout year-round. They are a secret told only by stomach samples of well-fed trout.

Example specimens

Gandoff
Posts: 1
Gandoff on Mar 9, 2007March 9th, 2007, 2:02 pm EST
I have been fly fishing a lot over the past two years in the mountains of NC and Va. I have pumped the contents of many trout, and 2 out of 3 times, I find Hellgrammites in large brown trout, 18"+. perhaps they are not as numerous as caddis', but nether are crawfish, and wild trout like to eat them too!
As noted on several other replies, the warm bridge, and warm rocks, if you want to reasearch Hellgrammites, this is a good place to start.
Troutnut
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Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2758
Troutnut on Mar 10, 2007March 10th, 2007, 3:23 am EST
Thanks for the insight!
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist

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